How to Tell Which Dog Poop Bags Are Really Biodegradable

Steve Russell - March 18, 2024

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Are dog poop bags really biodegradable? Or are they some marketing ploy to attract pet owners like you who care about the planet? It turns out that there are biodegradable doggy doo bags, safe enough to throw away without polluting the environment. 

To clarify, not all biodegradable poop bags are biodegradable. Some are more earth-friendly than others. Therefore, you may see a product that claims to be biodegradable and think it’ll break down within a year. However, that’s not always the case. Yet, searching for biodegradable poop bags for your furry friend can take time, especially when you’re unsure of what to look for. Nevertheless, you can tell which dog poop bags are really biodegradable by understanding what it says on the packaging.

Knowing Which Dog Poop Bags Are Really Biodegradable

Some companies claim their products are biodegradable. However, it’s essential to be careful about which doggy bags you buy. While the packaging may say the product will naturally break down over time, you want to be sure it does what it says. So, how can you tell which dog poop bags are really biodegradable? Certain factors give you an indication, including the following:

  • Certifications: Pet parents should look for certifications from ASTM or TÜV AUSTRIA. These ensure the bags meet strict compostability standards, breaking down within a specific timeframe under composting conditions. 
  • Ingredients or materials: You can also check what the bags are made of. On the labeling, it will tell you the materials or components it contains. When checking this, look for plant-based materials like cornstarch or other biopolymers, as these decompose quickly and safely.
  • Customer reviews and feedback: Another excellent way to confirm a dog poop bag is really biodegradable is through customer reviews. Some customers will leave truthful insights into how the bag performs regarding biodegradability and durability.

Use these indicators to guide your decisions. When you take the time to do a little research, you can ensure you’re making the right choice.

Dog Poop Bags That Are Biodegradable

When looking for doggy poop bags that are really biodegradable, here are a few recommendations.

1. BioBags

One of the most popular choices for eco-conscious pet owners is BioBag. These bags are made primarily from plant starches and other renewable resources. They also meet the ASTM D6400 standards for compostability. BioBags break down in a compost environment within three to six months, turning into organic matter. They’re strong and leak-proof, making them a practical, eco-friendly alternative for dog waste disposal. 

2. Pooch Paper

Pooch Paper is an excellent alternative to traditional paper plastic dog poop bags. These eco-friendly sheets are made from recycled paper that is biodegradable and compostable. Pooch paper is unlike any other dog poop bag — it doesn’t contribute to plastic waste and decomposes naturally within weeks. 

Each sheet is grease-resistant and large enough to accommodate waste from dogs of all sizes. Pooch paper is a great option for dog owners, as all they have to do is pick up the dog waste, twist the paper, and toss it in the trash. 

3. Earth Rated

Earth Rated’s products achieve a balance of eco-friendliness and functionality. Its bags are available in compostable and recycled plastic versions. The compostable options are made from vegetable-based material and adhere to the ASTM D6400 standards. On the other hand, their recycled plastic bags offer a more durable option while reducing environmental impact.

Earth Rated’s products have a leak-proof design and a pleasant lavender scent. That makes picking up after your pet more bearable and reduces plastic waste. 

4. PoopBags

PoopBags has various environmentally responsible dog waste bags and other products. The company offers options, from ones made from plant matter to others made from recycled materials. Their ASTM D6400-certified bags are fully compostable and decompose quickly in a proper composting environment.

5. Eco Poop Bags

Eco Poop Bags is another great choice for eco-conscious dog owners. Its products are 100% biodegradable and compostable, made 100% from cornstarch, allowing them to break down within 90 days. They also have a leak-proof design with an anti-microbial additive to make cleaning up poop more hygienic. These bags also comply with global standards like ASTM and provide a practical solution for eliminating dog waste while reducing plastic waste.

Better Ways to Dispose of Dog Waste

You may decide you want to skip bags altogether to guarantee you’re protecting the environment. One effective method is composting in the backyard. Consider grabbing a shovel and disposing of your pet’s waste into a composter. This will turn it into safer, nutrient-rich soil for your garden beds. However, it’s essential to do this for only plants you won’t eat. 

Another option is to bury the waste underground. If you live in a rural area, you could conceal the waste in a place away from your home and water sources to prevent contamination. Or, you could install a dog waste digester in your backyard. This is a small in-ground system that works like a mini septic tank. It uses enzymes and bacteria to break down the waste and safely return it to the soil. 

Lastly, some communities offer dog waste collection services or have bio-waste bins. These services often use waste-to-energy methods where it turns dog poop into a resource rather than a problem.

What Else Can I Use Instead of Plastic Bags for Dog Poop?

Some companies have devised some nifty ways for pet owners to clean up their dog’s waste. The best part is they reduce single-use plastic by making them reusable, like the Poof. Poof is a nylon disc you can throw under your dog while they’re doing their business. As soon as they’re done, you can pull the drawstring, gathering the waste into a portable bag. Once you get home, you can throw the contents into your toilet and rinse your Poof for another use. 

Another way to pick up your dog’s poop without using plastic baggies is with newspaper. This may be the oldest method, but it works great. Using newspapers means you save money from purchasing bags and use zero plastic. Or, you could buy the typical lunch paper bags. These bags are cheap, durable, and great for throwing out waste without harming the environment. 

Using Dog Poop Bags That Are Really Biodegradable

Now that you understand which dog poop bags are really biodegradable and what to look for, you can clean up after your pet while doing good for the planet. Many eco-friendly methods exist to rid your dog’s waste, whether using biodegradable bags or more traditional tactics. Choosing which works best for you will depend on where you live or which adventure you go on with your furry friend.

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About the author

Steve Russell

Steve is the Managing Editor of Environment.co and regularly contributes articles related to wildlife, biodiversity, and recycling. His passions include wildlife photography and bird watching.